14 File Handling
The basic unit of stored data in Unix is the "file". To edit a file,
you must tell Emacs to examine the file and prepare a buffer containing
a copy of the file's text. This is called "visiting" the file. Editing
commands apply directly to text in the buffer; that is, to the copy
inside Emacs. Your changes appear in the file itself only when you
"save" the buffer back into the file.
Emacs is also able to handle "remote files" which are stored on
other hosts. Not only is Emacs somewhat aware of the special issues
involved with network file systems, but it can also use FTP and ssh (or
rsh) to make local copies of the files, and refresh them on the remote
host automatically when you save the buffer. The FTP interface is
provided by the standard `efs' package Note: EFS. The
ssh/rsh interface is provided by the optional `tramp' package Note:
TRAMP. These packages attempt to implement all of the
operations described below, making remote file use transparent (except
for unavoidable network delays).
In addition to visiting and saving files, Emacs can delete, copy,
rename, and append to files, and operate on file directories.
- File Names
- How to type and edit file name arguments.
- Visiting a file prepares Emacs to edit the file.
- Saving makes your changes permanent.
- Reverting cancels all the changes not saved.
- Auto Save
- Auto Save periodically protects against loss of data.
- Version Control
- Version control systems (RCS and SCCS).
- Listing the contents of a file directory.
- Comparing Files
- Finding where two files differ.
- ``Editing'' a directory to delete, rename, etc.
the files in it.
- Misc File Ops
- Other things you can do on files.
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